August 27, 2009

Now it’s Star Trek‘s turn

Filed under: Humour, Media — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 15:59

John Scalzi returns to the well of nerd bile (see last week’s geek-disturbing here), this time he’s aiming at Star Trek:

Me: Star Wars design is so bad that people have to come up with elaborate and contrived rationales to explain it.


It’s a little much to hope for (or fear) the same result two weeks in a row, but nevertheless I promised everyone I’d point and laugh at Star Trek design, so here we go. I’ll confine myself to things in the movies. There are eleven of those, so it’s not like this will be a problem.

In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, a Voyager space probe gets sucked into a black hole and survives (GAAAAH), and is discovered by denizens of a machine planet who think the logical thing to do is to take a bus-size machine with the processing power of a couple of Speak and Spells and upgrade it to a spaceship the size of small moon, wrap that in an energy field the size of a solar system, and then send it merrily on its way. This is like you assisting a brain-damaged raccoon trapped on a suburban traffic island by giving him Ecuador.

QotD: Taliban propaganda, as abetted by the mainstream media

Filed under: Cancon, Media, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 10:02

Well, surprise, surprise: yesterday’s VBIED attack in the city of Kandahar killed at least 41, and wounded over 80 more people. All of them were civilians. Every single one.

And yet still, in the AP piece above, you read the phrase “Taliban spokesmen were not immediately available for comment…” What if these lying sacks of shit had been available for comment, folks? Would we have been reading their misinformation in black and white, juxtaposed credibly against BGen Tremblay’s words in a pathetic bow to “balanced reporting” — like somehow both should be weighed equally? You bet we would.

I’m tired of it. I’m sick and tired of our media giving them a soapbox from which to proclaim what is clearly, plainly, and obviously pure propaganda designed to attack our will as part of a well planned and executed information operations campaign. I’m tired of our journalists willfully ignoring the fact that they’re not just observing the war, they’re affecting it with their reporting. I’m bone-tired of them refusing to take steps to ensure their powerful voice isn’t used against the very system of government that allows them such unfettered speech in the first place.

Damian “Babbling” Brooks, Real propaganda”, The Torch, 2009-08-26

The only Canadian conspiracy theory

Filed under: Cancon, Military, Technology — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 08:29

American conspiracy enthusiasts have plenty to choose from, but their Canadian confreres don’t have much . . . but they do have the Avro Arrow controversy:

InnovationCanada.ca spoke with Campagna 50 years after the only examples of Canada’s premier jet fighter were cut into pieces.

InnovationCanada.ca (IC): What would most Canadians be shocked to find out about the Arrow, 50 years after its demise?

Palmiro Campagna (PC): Most people don’t know that the order to destroy the Arrow did not come from Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. One theory was that Diefenbaker decided to cancel as this was a Liberal project and he had problems with A.V. Roe president Crawford Gordon. But the reports I had declassified showed that was clearly not the case.

The decision to cut the Arrows into scrap was blamed on Diefenbaker as an act of vengeance, but it was actually an act of national security. The Arrow was an advanced piece of military technology, and the Canadian government didn’t want the test planes to go to a Crown disposal group that would be allowed to auction them off to anyone in the world.

I’ve written a little bit about the Arrow controversy back in 2004:

I hate to sound like a killjoy, but everything I’ve read about the AVRO Arrow says that, while Dief was widely viewed as an idiot for destroying the . . . finished planes, it would never have been a viable military export for Canada. The plane was great, there seems to be no question about that, but it was too expensive for the RCAF to be the only purchaser, and neither the United States nor the United Kingdom was willing (at that time) to buy from “foreign” suppliers. With no market for the jet, regardless of its superior flying and combat qualities, there was little point in embarking on full production.

Also, given the degree of penetration by Soviet spies, the Canadian government took the easiest option in destroying the prototypes. That doesn’t make it any less tragic if you’re a fan, but it does put it into some kind of perspective, I hope.

Kids will be kids

Filed under: Britain, Media, Railways, Randomness — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 00:06

Even when they’re adults . . . James May tried to set a record, but the kids just got in the way:

An attempt by Top Gear‘s James May to break the world’s longest model railway record has failed amid claims that vandals and thieves tampered with the track.

The long-haired presenter joined 400 enthusiasts to build the miniature railway stretching 10 miles from Barnstaple to Bideford, in North Devon.

He was recording the attempt yesterday for his new show James May’s Toy Stories.

The team hoped that a train would run successfully along the length of the track, built on the picturesque Tarka Trail.

But their hard work was hampered as parts of the track were taken and coins dropped on the line, blowing the battery. Even the battery was stolen.

H/T to Jeff Shultz.

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